April 19, 2015

Wine Bars for Cheese Storage

CheeseBallHere at Home-Tech, we think the world might be a little better off if EVERY day were Cheese Ball Day. I mean, we’re certainly overjoyed that April 17th celebrates the wondrous and delicious cheese ball — but really, cheese, whether it comes in a ball, a slice, a wedge, or a block truly makes all things better. Everything is tastier with cheese on it – let’s face it, who just orders a Quarter-Pounder? No – you order a Quarter Pounder with cheese. Europeans may think that they own the cheese market, but we believe that cheese is decidedly American – just ask Kraft.

Wine Bars – The Right Appliance For Cheese… And Morewine cooler appliances holidays

The most important thing about cheese – regardless of what kind – is keeping it fresh. There’s nothing worse than biting into a hard piece of cheese and realizing that it’s past its prime. Luckily, there exists The American Cheese Society (an organization you can actually join – cheese lovers unite!) that among other things, provides tips on proper cheese storage. The recommended temperature for storing cheese is around 40 degrees, give or take a few degrees – and we were happy to learn that wine coolers are an excellent place to store cheese – and who doesn’t love killing two birds with one stone? Talk about a go-to place for all of your favorite things – wine AND cheese – perfect.

Wonderful Wine Coolers

At Home-Tech, we’re happy to carry a variety of wine coolers from top brands like Frigidaire, G.E., Avanti and more. They’re not only practical, they look fabulous in any room of your home – whether it’s the kitchen, dining room, or even your outdoor living area. Keep your wines organized and fresh, plus store your cheese in your wine cooler, freeing up room in your ‘fridge. Stop into our Member Appliance Center and let one of our appliance experts show you the perfect wine cooler.

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be Cheese Ball Day without a delicious cheese ball recipe – this one is super easy to whip up and enjoy over the weekend – and it’s a tried and true classic:

Say Cheese! Cheese Ball Recipe

  • 1 Package of Cream Cheese
  • 1 Bunch of Green Onions
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Season Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 5 ounces Dried Beef, chopped
  • Mix together the first five ingredients and form into 2 or 3 cheese balls.  Roll them into the cut up chipped beef and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat – serve with your favorite crackers.

Home-Tech Gets 5 Stars for Appliance Service

Home-Tech ReviewsI am rating Home-Tech five stars out of five. I am also rating the appliance service person who came to my home five stars out of five. Here is why….

The company representative I spoke with (Pat, I think) when I first called told me exactly what rates, pricing, and time frames I could expect.

The follow-up was exactly what the home base representative told me to expect…. they called early in the day to give me a two-hour window within which the service person would arrive, and I was called by the service person when he was within ten minutes of arriving at my home.

The service person arrived in a company vehicle, was clean cut, in a white shirt and khaki slacks, with identifying patches and a name badge on his uniform.air condioning service technician

The service person had already been briefed correctly on the description of the problem I’d given to the base representative, confirmed that with me, and got right to work. His manner was pleasant, reassuring, and professional.

It was obvious that the serviceman was experienced in servicing this and similar machines. He was able to identify the problem within the first ten minutes, and was confident that he could fix it within a short time.

The serviceman exhibited an excellent work ethic, keeping to the task, working even while my wife and I talked to him, and had the job done well within his estimated time.

Whether planned or by coincidence, it was a smart move by the company to send one of their more experienced and efficient service people on a call to a new customer.

The labor rates charged are, in my opinion, somewhat high. But then I was paying for: a) someone to come to me instead of my having to bring the problem to them b) their experience and backup support, and c) the assurance that I wouldn’t get someone who comes into my home sweating and smelly, asking for a drink, stopping work to jibber-jabber on the phone, telling me the worst outcome I can expect before he’s even looked at the problem, leaves his basic tools in the truck (while I pay for the time it takes him to go back and forth from the truck), and who works like he’s already burned out on doing the work he’s in – OR – an inexperienced upstart who must spend half of his charged time on the phone with the company asking for help and instructions.
I would not hesitate to recommend Home-Tech to a friend, neighbor, or other family member. I was entirely pleased with their service, the service person, and the results.

Incidentally, the service person who came to my home was Matt E.. Extremely nice, capable, knowledgeable, professional young man who, from what I learned of him in a short time, seems like he’s going to do well for himself, his family, and for Home-Tech.

J. Bogart

Home-Tech Hearts Our Community By Supporting the Heart Ball

2015 Heartball logoWhen it comes to giving back to the community, here at Home-Tech, we like to mix it up a little. You might see us pounding nails and lugging lumber as we help Habitat For Humanity build a first home for a local single mom and her kids. We love to help one of our favorite non-profits, the Animal Refuge Center, as hands on as we can, as we adore our furry friends. And given the chance to get involved with the sparkling, black-tie, glamorous Heart Ball, we always put our hearts into it every year.

Heart Health MattersHeart ball 1

The Heart Ball supports the American Heart Association on a local level. With funds raised from this fabulous and festive evening at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa benefiting a variety of programs – from Go Red for Women, which is all about heart health for women, to educating children about healthy eating, exercising, and avoiding childhood obesity. But, that’s not all – the event is cosponsored by Lee Memorial Health System and Naples Community Hospital – making the event a true Southwest Florida effort – and Home-Tech is proud, as always, to be a sponsor.

heart ball 2Home-Tech Sponsors the Silent Auction

Previously, our very own rock star CFO, Sonya Sawyer, has been the co-chair of the festivities, along with her wonderful husband, Brian. This year, Home-Tech was thrilled to be the official sponsor of the Silent Auction, plus we donated one of our wine coolers for bidding which garnered a hefty amount for the cause. Over 500 guests attended, dancing into the wee hours to the band “None Other”, as NBC-2 Anchor Kellie Burns and Auctioneer Scott Robertson officiated. Spotted in the crowd from Home-Tech was our own Sonya with Brian, CEO, Steve Marino and his wife, Tammy Surratt, and Pam Marino, Service Operations Manager.  Also enjoying the fun, Pason and Renee Gaddis, Dr. Larry and Mrs. Becky Antonucci, Nancy McGovern, Kathy Tolle, Laura Regan, and so many more.

Home-Tech has a heart – and we LOVE having a ball – thanks to the American Heart Association of Southwest Florida for letting us join the party of giving back – we can’t wait until next year!


What Does March Madness Mean To You?

MarchMadness For some March Madness is all about printing out your brackets, studying your seeds, and making bets on which college basketball teams will make it to the Elite Eight or the Final Four, but for some teams – or rather flocks — of snowbirds, it’s more about preparing to fly (or crawl up 75) to the north. Either way, it’s normal to go a little mad with March Madness as you try to soak in the last week or so of Southwest Florida before Easter, catch some basketball on TV, and yet also work to get your home prepared for a long summer away.

Ideally, a Fairy Godmother would whisk in and take care of it all while you lounge by the pool, a margarita in one hand, and your cell phone in other as you describe the idyllic 85 degree weather to friends up north who are recovering from yet another fresh spring snow. Not to worry – by the time you get back up to the northern climes, the ice will have thawed, and there will be blooms on the trees. Meanwhile, since your Fairy Godmother still hasn’t shown up – it’s time to start the closing of your tropical home away from home. And while Home-Tech can help, here are a few things you can do on your own:

  • Summer humidity in Southwest Florida makes a steam bath look refreshing, so make sure every room in your home is sparkling clean so that mildew and pesky Florida insects don’t feel welcome.
  • Moisture is huge factor down here from May through September so close up your home tightly to keep it protected – that means every window and every door. You can also seal toilet bowls and tanks with plastic wrap; make sure kitchen, bath, and shower drains are plugged. If you have hurricane shutters, use them.
  • There’s no reason to leave food in the house except unopened canned goods. If you have flour, sugar, coffee, etc. seal it all well with Ziploc bags and store them in the refrigerator if you choose to leave it running.

What About Air Conditioning and Appliances?SP32-20150327-142928

You can not shut of your AC and go. You will return to a complete disaster of mold in your home. Air-conditioning is a great defense against moisture damage, so if you haven’t called Home-Tech to schedule your clean and check  make sure you do. Watch these two videos from Home-Tech for additional tips for setting your thermostat and humidistat and how to leave the appliances in your Florida home.

It’s a Slam Dunk

It’s all about peace of mind. With Home-Tech, there is no madness in March — you don’t have to worry about your Southwest Florida home when you’re at your northern home sipping a margarita on the porch, enjoying a breeze, and feeling tempted to call your Florida friends who are boiling in July. After all, the grass is always greener.



Appliances and Air Conditioning Need Leprechaun’s Luck Too


“May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you wherever you go.”
- Irish Blessing

The Luck ‘o the Irish

Luck and superstition mean bunches when it comes to St. Patty’s Day. For instance, if you eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll get rich. Wear a shamrock for good luck — and definitely wear green to avoid the inevitable pinch. And to let the family know that a lucky Leprechaun has come to call, put green food coloring and gold glitter in the toilet (even leprechauns have to go to the bathroom). For extra super-amazing luck — and a wicked post St. Patty’s Day hangover – consume copious amounts of green beer.

The REAL Pot ‘o GoldRainbowTruck

But, when it comes to the important stuff, you can’t rely on luck – or as the Irish say, “a lick and a promise.” When a major appliance or your air conditioner goes “banjaxed” (Irish for broken), you don’t need a happy leprechaun; it could cost you your pot o’ gold if you don’t have a Gold Service Agreement from Home-Tech. It’s more than magical – it’s common sense. Go for the Gold and get unlimited service calls at no charge, complete parts and labor coverage (we’re not pullin’ yer leg, we mean it!), and emergency service 7 days a week, including holidays (even the blessed St. Pat’s!).

Get Lucky With Home-Tech

You can’t rely on luck – Irish or otherwise when it comes to your air-conditioner, washer, dryer, refrigerator, or other major appliances – if you did, you’d probably be a bit “fluthered” (Irish for drunk on green beer). So call Home-Tech today and find out more about a Gold Service Agreement – it can be your pot of gold all year long – with or without a rainbow.

“May your feet never sweat

Your neighbor ne’re five you a treat

When flowers bloom, we hope you’ll not sneeze

And may you always have someone to squeeze.”


Samsung Chef Collection RF34H9960S4 Refrigerator Versatility

SP32-20150309-151954Last Friday was National Frozen Food Day. And just in time to celebrate that, Home-Tech introduced a new French Door Refrigerator/Freezer in our showrooms from Samsung. Everyone who has walked by it has said, “Whoa, what’s that?”  Or, “I want that!” It really is an eye catching thing of beauty with a very modern stainless steel design which would look great in any kitchen.

Everyone has a different take on frozen foods. Some families buy everything in bulk and even have an additional freezer in the garage to hold their side of beef. Then there are those like my Dad, who is retired and just cooks for one, usually. His freezer has bags of steamer rice, frozen juices, waffles and a carton of ice cream. He doesn’t need much freezer space. We’ve addressed in an earlier blog what a bachelor keeps in his freezer.

The Samsung Chef Collection RF34H9960S4 can work for everyone and fill every storage need because the bottom right side of the refrigerator can be freezer or refrigerator space – YOUR CHOICE.  Ding ding ding – isn’t that smart?

Connected Refrigerator

Speaking of smart, this Samsung refrigerator can be controlled by an app on your smart phone.  That’s right, you can be out grocery shopping and know that you are going to bring home a bunch of food that is going directly in the freezer and you can tell your freezer “Incoming!! Crank down the temperature!” Oh, and by the way, this refrigerator holds up to 34 bags of groceries! It will also let you know if the door has been open longer than 2 minutes. You can call your teenager and tell him/her to make up their mind and shut the door.

Here’s what else you can do with the app:

  • View freezer and fridge temps
  • Receive an alarm when the door is open for more than 2 minutes
  • Control your ice
  • Activate the Power Cool and Power Freeze functions. These functions rapidly cool either your refrigerator or freezer.
  • View an energy consumption report

What is the Power Freeze/Power Cool Function?SP32-20150309-141614

There is a button. You hold it for 3 seconds and WHAM cooling increases. This is great if you need to quickly freeze a large amount of food or items that spoil easily. Remember those Thanksgiving leftovers? This is perfect, right?

The Bottom Right Has Got it Going On

The “Cool Select Room” on the bottom right of your refrigerator can be set to Freezer, Soft Freezing (helps keep meat and fish fresh longer) Chill (sets temperature to 30) or Cool (41) for drinks, juice, beer etc. The versatility of this is so convenient. If you are having a party and need extra cold beer you can fill it up and chill it on the refrigerator setting.  If you are having an Ice Cream Social you can set it to Freezer Mode and put all of the ice cream flavors in there.

SP32-20150309-141630Fresh Sparkling Water – Whenever You Want It

On the dispenser control panel is the sparkling water control. This fridge makes its own sparkling water. No more taking up storage space with bottles. You push the button and it will fill the sparkling water tank with water and inject CO2 gas into it and make sparkling water. You can control how “sparkling” it is. How would you like yours?

It’s Built with a Chef In Mind

It has a Chef Pantry which creates the perfect temperature with a temperature setting recommended by Michelin star chefs. It has Chef Mode with chef selected temperature settings providing the perfect condition for every type of food. It has a Chef Pan where you can marinate meat and fish separately in the stainless steel chef pan. Pull the chef pan out of the refrigerator and put directly into the oven to cook. It has a Chef Basket which is perfect for storing smoked cheeses and cured meats. For added convenience, it can be easily removed and taken with you.  All it needs is a Chef owner!

Important EngineeringSP32-20150309-141554

The Samsung Chef Collection RF34H9960S4 features innovative Metal Cooling that locks in cold and seals in freshness. The stainless steel paneling helps maintain consistent temperature throughout the refrigerator. With Triple Cooling, a premium cooling system which features 3 evaporators for ultimate freshness and provides precise temperature and humidity controls in all three zones. And it has 4 Pillar High-Efficiency Lighting which brightens every corner of your refrigerator. It emits less heat and is more energy-efficient than traditional lighting. And it exceeds the government’s Energy Star requirements.

So you might want to stop by one of Home-Tech’s appliance showrooms and take a look for yourself. It’s a pretty amazing refrigerator. Or call and speak to our appliance staff. They are always ready to help. (800) 800-8356 Ext. 4 

Spring Training is for Home-Tech Technicians Too

V__A0CEHome-Tech employee owners just attended a luncheon at the Minnesota Twins facility with the Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. It’s great having the Twins spring training “machine” just a hop, skip and a jump away from our Fort Myers location on Techster Boulevard.

It’s a Big Hit

The entire Twins organization is now in full swing with Spring Training as well as their rivals across town at Jet Blue Park. It’s a lot of fun to go out and watch all the AMAZING young players sharpen up their skills in batting, fielding and pitching. The stars of the team are right there to chat with you and the future stars are on fire with the love of baseball. It’s beautiful weather and great family fun for everyone in Fort Myers. No wonder baseball has been called America’s pastime since it began in 1845 with the NY Knickerbockers.

Training is a Home Run

Major league baseball is not the only organization that appreciates the concept of training beginners. With baseball training you start with the basics and as skills improve the guys move up through the organization, always hoping to make it to the big leagues. Home-Tech has a similar concept in place with our Apprenticeship Program. Several weeks ago, new apprentices were hired and are now involved in the intense training program lead by Home-Tech Trainer, Gary Close.NATE certified

Suit UP

Not only do they learn the ins and outs of appliance and air conditioning repair but also the standard of service that is required to be a Home-Tech technician. They are issued uniforms, just like baseball players and spend many hours in classes with hands on training. And their training doesn’t stop with “spring training”. Every technician, no matter how long he has been at Home-Tech still receives ongoing training. Imagine how much training is required to repair every brand and type of appliance and air conditioner. But they learn it, because that’s what it takes to make the cut with you, our customer.

Enjoy some baseball in beautiful SW Florida. Have a hot dog, a cold drink and popcorn. And when you get home from the game, if you need us, Home-Tech will go to bat for you!




Home-Tech CEO Steve Marino Goes Over the Edge

Steve Marino and Brian Sawyer

Steve Marino and Brian Sawyer

It’s not often that you can watch your CEO performing a death defying feat and on a Friday the 13th to boot. But that’s exactly what happened in Naples last week. Steve Marino, President and CEO of Home-Tech hung over the edge from the roof of the Naples Grand for a full minute and then began his descent, rapelling down, carefully at first and then James Bond style as he got the hang of it. All of this was done in order to raise funds to help with the life skills & education of our youth through Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida. The Over the Edge event continued on into Saturday the 14th with many participants enjoying their precarious descent and the cheers of the crowd below.

Many Sacrifices of Time, Talent and Energynaples grand

Home-Tech employee owners feel very motivated to support local causes and charities in our communities that we service. We are thankful to the residents of SW Florida for using our air conditioning and appliance repair services for over 34 years and feel compelled to give back. Home-Tech just recently began work on it’s 18th home construction project for Habitat for Humanity, is hosting the Duck Slap Party in Bradenton for the Pace Center for Girls Duck Race which is rapidly approaching, and has many more charitable events and giving lined out for the rest of 2015 to provide support in many different ways.

Much time, effort, sweat and great care is given by Home-Tech employees in order to provide service beyond the walls of Home-Tech. We hope to see you at many of these events.

Steamy Couples Come In Red When It Comes to Washers & Dryers

ValentinesAs we approach Valentine’s Day, counting the number of times the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trailer has played on TV has been a challenge; plus, keeping track of the many times the movie premiere has been mentioned on the Internet; OR adding up the number of magazines the stars, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan have been on. But, their characters, Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey aren’t the only hot, steamy, romantic couples being talked about during Valentine’s week.

Love Is In The Air

George and Amal Clooney certainly come to mind – yes, millions of hearts broke when the sexiest bachelor alive recently took a bride, but the tall, stunning, British lawyer he chose to be Mrs. Clooney seems to have been worth the wait. In an acceptance speech at the Golden Globe Awards this year, he said, “”It’s a humbling thing when you find someone to love. Even better if you’ve been waiting your whole life . . . and when your whole life is 53 years. . . . Amal, whatever alchemy it is that brought us together, I couldn’t be more proud to be your husband.”

One of country music’s most sparkling couples, is also the cutest and most devoted – Miranda Lambert recently said of her husband, Blake Shelton, “I never saw him as a ‘hot husband,’ but I understand why women would think that. What makes him hot to me is that Blake is a real man’s man. He’s not one of those girly guys at all. He’s definitely a country boy, and what you see is what you get.”

Get out the Kleenex for this one. When it comes to royalty, Prince William and his wife, Duchess Kate don’t seem to have the stiff upper lips that most royals do – in photos, they’re affectionate, laughing, and look truly in love – in fact, when Prince William proposed to Kate and gave her his late mother, Princess Diana’s famous sapphire engagement ring, he said in an interview, “The ring is very special to me – and Kate is very special to me now. It seemed only right to put the two together. It was my way to make sure that my mother wouldn’t miss out on the excitement that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together. We’re both very, very happy.”

Steamy and Red Hot

Here at Home-Tech, we have our own happy couple – not only that, they’re even hotter and steamier than the stars mentioned above – we’re sure of it. It’s all about washers and dryers here at Home-Tech. In sexy Merlot, the Samsung Front Load Washer (model #WF5400) and its partner, the Electronic Front Load Dryer (model #DV5400) in the same bold, sassy color are a new couple on the Home-Tech showroom floor, but we predict their relationship is solid and will stand the test of time. The washer features SuperSpeed, which means a 40% faster cycle, plus Steam Wash, which eliminates stains without pre-treatment. The dryer steams away wrinkles and even features an inner dryer rack for your delicates. So, not only does this couple have a fabulous working relationship, they also look amazing – on Valentine’s Day and every day, look to Home-Tech for hotness.

Ground Hog Day 2015 Means Good News For Air Conditioners

6MoreWeeksIf you grew up in the North East or the Midwest, you probably remember when Ground Hog Day really was a big deal. In the dead cold of winter, that fat, furry rodent could change your whole outlook on the next six weeks of weather depending on whether he saw his shadow or not. Which if you think about it, is kind of nuts – Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog doesn’t have a meteorology degree, or any computer models, and yet he gives us hope — or dashes our hopes. And this week, on February 2nd, he dashed them – IF you live in a region where there’s actually a winter. Happily, here in Southwest Florida, we do not.

 Six More Weeks of Florida Winter – Not So Bad

Phil the furry rodent seeing his shadow means only good news to Southwest Floridians – our air-conditioners can continue their long winter’s rest, while the arrival of our power bills brings us joy instead of causing us to tear our hair out. And the best part? We get to leave our windows and glass sliders open, allowing fresh Florida air into rooms where only ceiling fans are needed to regulate temperature, and if it’s slightly chilly, we pull a blanket over our shoulders rather than cranking up the heater. When Phil sees that shadow, it only means six more weeks of fabulous Florida weather – AND the perfect opportunity to have Home-Tech come out to check and maintain your air-conditioning unit.Lee County AC Repair

This weather won’t last forever, the long summer months are inevitably on their way and preparedness is the key to not being stuck in a hot, humid house with a broken air-conditioner in August. Let us check your filter, fluids, and ducts – it’s the perfect time of year for it. Call Home-Tech today at 800-800-8356 and ask about an A/C Clean and Check.

And let’s hope that groundhog was right – at least for our sake. For your northern friends and relatives, you may want to prepare your guest room.